Office on African American Affairs

Office of Equity

Making the County's Health & Racial Equity Vision a Reality

The Milwaukee County 2022 budget reimagines the Office on African American Affairs as the Office of Equity (OOE), expanding the work of the department and creating all new staff positions, including Milwaukee County’s first Chief Equity Officer.

OOE brings a higher level of leadership, expertise and accountability to advance the county’s strategic goals of creating intentional inclusion, bridging the gap and investing in equity.

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Mission and Purpose

OOE serves to support the County and empower the community to make the county’s vision, "by achieving racial equity, Milwaukee is the healthiest county is Wisconsin," a reality.

OOE engages county residents, builds the capacity of county leaders, departments, and municipalities, and facilitates collective impact to assess and transform policies, practice and power structures to make Milwaukee a region where every citizen is welcomed, healthy and thriving.

OOE’s essential responsibilities remain providing advice, guidance and technical assistance to county leaders, departments and municipalities to ensure that race no longer predicts health and quality of life outcomes, and outcomes for everyone improve.

OOE’s mission is spread across four service areas with dedicated staff positions:

Equity Operations, Strategy and Innovation: Provides direct support and partnership to County leaders, departments, and municipalities in identifying and remedying inequitable policies, processes, and practices within and across the County and supporting internal and external and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Equity Research and Policy Advocacy: Conducts equity policy analysis and building equity policy assessment capacity within departments and municipalities to drive countywide and regional equity research and policy advocacy initiatives.

Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships: Develops standard practices and frameworks for community engagement, and leading and supporting countywide community outreach initiatives and strategic partnerships with an emphasis on communities of color and vulnerable populations across the county.

African American Affairs: Provides targeted outreach and community capacity building focused on examining, defining, and addressing issues central to the rights and needs of African Americans across the county.

Achieving Racial Equity and Health

OOE serves as a resource and consultancy to all county departments, divisions, boards and commissions, and municipalities, and supports their work to advance policies, programs and initiatives to Milwaukee a more equitable and anti-racist community.

OOE works with county leaders, departments and staff to analyze the county's policies, systems and practices for racial equity impact; strengthen the county's outreach and community engagement efforts to increase access to services and opportunities, including efforts to diversify the county's workforce and contracting; and socialize shared language, definitions and concepts to apply a racial equity lens to all decision making.

OOE defines racial equity as the just and fair inclusion of people of color in a society where all people can participate, prospercand reach their full human potential. This requires disrupting and dismantling all forms racism, shifting power and resources to residents most in need, and building the leadership, organizational and advocacy capacity of communities of color to be full and equal partners in decision making.

OOE additionally supports building community capacity to strengthen the county's public health infrastructure and mobilize community-based solutions to address roots causes of poverty, disparity and inequities.

Ongoing Commitment to African American Residents

While the scope of the department has expanded, Milwaukee County’s commitment to African American residents and communities remains a top priority.

OOE gives the County more support and capacity to accomplish the work OAAA was created to do. While the department’s name is changing, OOE maintains staff offices on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Clarke Street, in the heart of Milwaukee’s predominantly African American Harambee community. The office space continues to be an outreach facility targeted to African American seeking better access to County services and a place where community members can engage directly with County departments and services year-round.



2578 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 278-7979

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